Much in the same way that, we find it hard to resist a second helping of a favorite dish; it’s only fair for me to warn you that once you start reading this delightful book, “Julia’s Cats,” it will be just as challenging to put the book down. Since August 15th is the 112th anniversary of Julia Child’s birth, I would be remiss if I neglected this purrfect opportunity to share my review of such a delightful bestseller.
It was several years ago that a copy of this book suddenly arrived in my mailbox. My Cousin Judy had sent it to me as a birthday gift, knowing how passionate I am about cats and how enamored I am about Julia Child’s recipes. I quickly tore the small manila envelope open in which the book arrived and briefly glanced over its beautiful jacket.
I could hardly wait to dive into the pages that turned out to be delicious descriptions of the many mouth-watering feasts that Julia tenderly prepared. Her loving relationship with her husband Paul, and her adoration for Minette, their charming feline companion was (pardon the pun), the icing on the cake. But, most of all, I was both surprised and thrilled to learn that Julia Child was such an ardent felineophile.
Although the kitty named Minette was initially invited into Julia’s kitchen to catch tiny mice that scurried under the sink in Julia’s “holy of holies”; the small furry tri-colored huntress soon captured her heart. Minette “ignited her passion for poussiequettes.” Paul once said that “A cat-any cat- is essential to Julia’s happiness.”
Paul soon fell under the enchanting feline’s spell as well.
I’m not sure if it was just “accidental” or a genuine case of synchronicity that beckoned me to open the book to a section that turned out to be the most appropriate passage. I will never forget the feeling that this particular chapter could have been written for me since I too was non-stop nursing our two very sick kitties.
As I continued reading, I felt like the book’s authors, Patricia Barey and Therese Burson, were talking to me directly by the way they described Julia and Paul’s anxiety about Minette’s sudden, unexpected illness. The kitty had stopped eating; even turning up her nose at the tasty morsels that Julia offered her. Minette was listless, “moping around the apartment, obviously very uncomfortable. Fortunately, Julia realized this was a real emergency, and she rushed Minette off her to the vet. This time it was something far more serious. Julia and Paul left their sick kitty at the clinic for three days. Now it was their turn to mope around the house.”
The 143-page book is chock full of tantalizing anecdotes about Julia Child’s relationship with Minette, her love for Paul, and her passion for cooking. The book’s final treat for readers is the addition of one of Julia’s favorite dessert recipes- “Langues-De-Chat” (Cat’s Tongue Cookies), so readers can have a “taste” of Julia’s sensational cooking.
I trust that this short review will offer our readers a tempting appetizer inviting them to devour the book “Julia’s Cats” in its entirety. It’s available online at Amazon.com in hardcover, softcover, and Kindle editions. This little book is a purrfect gift for cat lovers. Of course, since “Julia’s Cats” is such an entertaining and “delicious” read, I can hear Julia whispering in the background her favorite words, “Bon Appetite!”
By: Jo Singer, MSW, CSW, LCSW (Ret.)